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tv   Politics Public Policy Today  CSPAN  September 17, 2014 12:30pm-2:31pm EDT

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>> who is responsible is fourth down on the food chain. by your own -- >> no, sir, i will disagree with that. i am responsible. >> yeah, but i'm telling you -- >> the latest example. when we're trying to open a facility, in southern turkey. we had a request to put personnel in on the ground for start operations, for humanitarian operations. they're in their tdy. we need a facility. we are in the process of leasing a facility. we know where it's going to be. a request came to me from the people on the ground saying, can we use it in advance of the security upgrades being done, being accomplished. my answer, no. >> okay. that's beautiful. and in light of mr. cummings' response, you're going to be there for a season. and in another season, someone is going to succeed you. and in that new season, when someone with your judgment and your deference doesn't have that
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level of capacity and they don't have your kind of stick and background, they'll be under tremendous pressure and they're going to say yes. i yield back. >> chair thanks the gentleman from illinois and recognizes himself. it strikes me there are at least two issues at play. two major issues. one is the efficacy of the arb process itself. whether or not it is in our best interest to allow any entity to essentially grade its own papers. we don't do that in any other category of life. we don't get to sentence ourselves when we're in court. we don't get to grade our own papers in the classroom. the other aspect of the arb is who they interviewed and didn't interview. whether or not they have to accept recommendations or don't have to accept recommendations. that's a separate issue, whether the arb works, whether or not it has shortcomings.
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let's assume that the arb works. let's just make that assumption for the sake of argument. is anyone following the recommendations of the arb? mr. secretary, i want to read something to you. we are disturbed at the inadequacy of resources to provide resources against terrorist attacks. we are disturbed at the relative low priority of accorded security concerns. we praise the ambassador for seeking security enhancements long before the attack. do you know what that comes from, mr. secretary, what i just read? >> i believe it's part of the accountability review board report. >> from 1999. >> nairobi, correct? >> that was the arb from 1999. and you can lay it almost perfectly over what happened in benghazi.
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one other point, the 1999 arb went really clear, they went out of their way to make it clear, they were disappointed that the recommendations that came after the bombings in beirut were not being implemented. something called the inman commission. the '99 arb criticizes existing state department employees for not following the inman commission from 14 years prior. that's a quarter century's worth of recommendations. and yet, here we sit. so, what i want to do, because i -- honestly, i commend mr. schiff. this was a wonderful idea. i thank each of you for coming. but giving the inescapable, inner connective with recommendations made after beirut, eastern africa, benghazi, we're going to look past some of those arb
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recommendations. inman being beirut bombing. not meeting inman standards, essential physical security upgrades should be made immediately. that was the recommendation of the 1999 arb. mr. secretary, i'm going to read you another one. this goes to mr. cummings point, which was a great point. diplomatic situations should be made to all governments with whom we have relations to remind them they have security obligations to our embassy. who in libya were we to call? who? mr. cummings' point was so good. the 1999 arb makes a great point. who did we call in libya? >> question, sir? >> when i pause, that's generally an indication i'm
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waiting on you to answer. but i'll make it more clear in the future. >> i think this is the heart of the question. there are times when -- for the national interest of the united states, we are going to have to have diplomats, humanitarian programs, rule of law programs and other things in places where the host country is -- >> mr. secretary. >> -- does not have a government. we must take lessons from -- >> was there a government in libya for us to contact? >> no, not at that time. >> so that recommendation of the 1999 arb we were not able to do. let's move to one perhaps we were able to do. also a recommendation from the 1999 arb. again, the arb is presented to us as a panacea. i mean, that's the evolution of what happens, is there's an attack, there's a blue ribbon panel, we're going to study, make recommendations and this is never going to happen again. back to the 1999. the secretary of state should
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personally review the security situation of facilities closing highly vulnerable or threatened. why do you think the 1999 arb went out of its way to use the word personally. >> no comment, sir. >> is the answer privileged? i mean, that's a recommendation from the 1999 arb. the secretary of state should personally review. i'm skug with all due respect -- we're not going to get to the word review. we have to get to the word that modifies the word personally. why did the secretary of state himself or herself personally review? >> i think ultimately the secretary, who bears the responsibility for the security, has to be brought the information that's necessary for him to make decisions. that is my job. >> okay. >> i have gone to the secretary
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of state on different occasions and we have talked specifically about the security of different places. tripoli was one of them in particular since i have been back. but we have also looked at sana, we've talked about kabul, we talked about the other locations as well. where i have concerns about the safety of our personnel and if we're not doing the things we need to do, then it's my responsibility to bring it to the secretary. >> and i appreciate that, mr. secretary. was it done on september 10th of 2012? was it done prior to benghazi? because this recommendation has existed for more than ten years. >> i was not here at that time. i'm sorry, i cannot tell you. >> well, your answer is -- mirrors what the 1999 arb further said, which is first and foremost, the secretary of state should take a personal and active role in carrying out the
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responsibility of ensuring security of u.s. diplomatic personnel. is that being done now? was it being done prior to your tenure? >> in the time that i was here previously and i have served under multiple secretaries of state, i have heard every secretary talk about the importance of security. i have heard every secretary state to personnel of department that security is their function, their personal security has to be their function. that goes from madeleine albright, that goes through secretary clinton, secretary rice and with secretary kerry, who has also made those statements and has made statements that the safety and security of our personnel is absolutely one of our highest priorities. >> and i appreciate that, mr. secretary. again, i think words have consequences and they have meaning. most people use words intentionally. the 1999 arb intentionally used the words personally and active. that to me does not mean talking about something.
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a personal review is not simply talking about it. is the personal review ongoing? is that arb recommendation still accepted, i guess, is my question? does the state department still accept these recommendations from the 1999 arb? and is it being done? >> yes. i think the best and clearest example that i can give you today is a new process we put into place. the vital presence validation process, where we, again, look at what are our vital national interests and why should we be in these high threat locationses. we put this process up and it goes all the way to the secretary. >> and that is a great point, which leads very nicely into the next point i was going to make, or ask you about. what is it about that recommendation that is so talismatic that it couldn't have been made prior to the attack in
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benghazi? >> i think the department of state has practiced risk management from the day -- >> risk management we're going -- we know the risk of being in benghazi. can you tell us what our policy was in libya that overcame those risks? in other words, why were we there? >> these questions, i think, have been fundamental to the department for over 30 years. it is the reason why in many places we have evacuated or we have shut down operations or we've taken our families out. or we've gone down to essential personnel only or we've asked for marines to come in and support us while we're there. >> right. and my point being, mr. secretary, none of that was done in benghazi. so, what -- we know the risk in benghazi. my colleagues and you and others have done a wonderful job of highlighting some of the trip wires, i think is the diplomatic term. what policy were we pursuing in libya that was so great that it overcame all of the trip wires
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and all of the rifbs? >> not being here at the time, sir, i cannot answer that question for you. i do believe personally, with my time at the united nations, that many of us understood that if we lost the eastern half of libya, that if we lost the confidence of the people after the revolution in libya, that we were going to pay a terrible price. and i don't want to put words into chris stevens' mouth. i think he was the -- an immensely talented diplomat. and i was not here at that time. but i think it was clear in chris's mind why he needed to go to benghazi and what he was trying to accomplish. i think today we have more normalized processes to make sure those decisions are documented, the vpvp process makes us go through a process that i don't think was there prior to benghazi. i think the results of the accountability review board and
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the best practices panel and the recommendations that we've forward, we've got a clearer, more precise, more mandated process for risk management. but i would tell you, sir, that every singleag664kmsg6vñi day i was with the department of state, we were weighing the safety and security of our personnel. i think that's a fundamental tenet you will find everybodyçn the department agrees with. >> i appreciate you bringing the hearing toward its conclusion back to chris stevens and back to the other four who lost their lives. but mr. stevens was equally clear that he needed help. he was equally clear that the situation was getting worse in benghazi. he was equally clear in asking the people who sent him there to represent us, to provide adequate security. and none was forthcoming. with that i would recognize the ranking member for his closing
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remarks. >> i want to thank you all for being here today. i thank all of you. one thing i want to remind all of us is that we are americans. everybody trying to do the best they can to protect our people. when we look at what happened in benghazi, there are a lot of lessons to be learned. the question is, not only have we learned them, but then how do we address them? and, you know, quarterbacking -- what do they call it, monday-morning quarterbacking, i think when you look back on it a
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lot of times, you realize the things you could have done differently. that probably would have made things better. but, you know, we cannot bring back the past, but i think we can make a difference right now. it's clear that our diplomats are in some very dangerous situations. i think we all agree on that. and so now we've got to figure out how we go about protecting them even better than we have in the past. and so that's why, secretary starr, i asked you about coming back to us and letting us know exactly, you know, what you're
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working on, those things that you still have to do. and reporting back. it is so important, because after -- when all the dust settles, the question is, what do we accomplish? you know, i've been here 17 years and i've seen a lot of arguments back and forth, but i think we must concentrate on being effective and efficient and getting something done. the arguments that have been made, and the frustration you hear from both sides, trying to figure out what happened. i believe everybody is acting in an honorable way, with great intentions, but i want you all to understand we're just trying to figure out what happened so that we make sure, if there were
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things that went wrong, that it doesn't happen again. that's what it's all about. so, mr. chairman, again i want to thank you for this hearing. and i want to ask you to do something for me. i want to bring mr. starr back in either december or january. he's already told us that in 45 days or less he can tell us about what he's working on and give us some kind of timetable. but i want him to come back and tell us what has been achieved. and that's very, very important for me. and i'm sure for the whole committee. mr. chairman, if you will, that's your call but i think it
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would be unfortunate if when all of this -- this committee ends, that we have not addressed these recommendations and addressed them in a way that would make -- that would please the families of the deceased. and that brings me back to them. four great americans who lost their lives. and i think we all made a commitment in one way or another to them, that we would do everything in our power to find out what happened. and at the same time, to make sure we did the best we could to protect our folks overseas, to tighten up security, if that's appropriate. and we've got to do that. and so with that, mr. chairman, i want to thank you.
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>> i want to thank the gentleman from maryland for all of his help and, frankly, getting ready for this hearing. and the cooperative nature with which he has always worked with me. and i think it's an excellent idea. we will work with the secretary. i don't to want pick a date that's inconvenient with his schedule. december suits me better than january. i would rather do it sooner rather than later. but we will work with the secretary and i will work with you on the nature of whether or not that will be a hearing with all of our colleagues, whether or not that would be with just you and me. we'll work all that out. but i will pledge to you it will be done. and it will be done in december, if it suits his schedule. also, i just want to say this. we were given two different tasks. i say we. the house voted for us to be in existence. find out everything that happened before, during and after the attack in benghazi. and then do everything. and the speaker has been very clear in my conversations with him about this. do everything you can to make sure that it never happens
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again. part of that is taking recommendations that have been made in the past and asking whether or not they've been implemented. the other part of that, frankly, frankly, is anticipating things that might possibly happen. we do not have to wait on a tragedy to make recommendations. i noted, mr. cummings, during the secretary's opening statements -- i'm not minimizing this at all. if it comes across as me minimizing it. i am not. he mentioned they were partnering with the new york fire department. that's a great idea. but it does necessarily lead some of us to conclude, why could that not have been done previously? fire's been around for a long time. it's been a weapon for a long time. why now? and it's not fair of me to ask him, which is why i didn't ask him. but the notion that we have to wait on something bad to happen before we can act to do something that all 12 of us agree ought to be done. so, again, i thank all of my
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colleagues. i want to thank mr. schiff again for giving me this idea. i'll hope he'll share some others with me. again, as we adjourn, i want to adjourn in memory of chris stevens, sean smith, woods and y and pledge a process that is worthy of their memory and one that our fellow citizens can respect regardless of their political ideations. with that, we are adjourned.
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>> finishing up this first of several planned house benghazi hearings. it will last into next year. check out our benghazi material at our video library. you have seen some of the tweets that we received across the bottom of the screen. on facebook we're asking for your thoughts on the hearing and the benghazi investigation in general. the obama administration's strategy toward isis is a concern today. join us when john kerry will
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testify about that strategy. he is appearing before the senate foreign relations committee. watch it live right here.
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here are a few of the
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comments we have received from our viewers. b especially i enjoy watching c-span3 to watch real america every sunday afternoon at 1:00 pacific time. i love real america. i've never missed one episode. please keep real america on the c-span schedule. i say what every american says, thank god for c-span. >> c-span has gone downhill. it really has. i have aei heritage foundation, funded by time warner. you can't say anything to criticize airliisrael or they cu off. also, i want to make a comment, you have the national summit on c-span3 which nobody watches and
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some people don't even get it. you got stephen who isç about e israeli relations. they were telling the truth. they aired it. you should have had that on c-span1, i think. >> i've seen many shows that inspired me and made me who i am. but this show this morning is the absolute best.lk,ñ4vioó @r(% it's impossible for me to even rate it it is so good. it's just over the moon. and this, in my opinion, the format of this show and the way that it has moved forward this morning, to me, is the answer to all of our problems. because what it does is it allows all of us to see an in-depth look to -- to have an
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in-depth look at a specific problem or topic that is us forces in iraq do not and will not have a combat mission as part of the effort against islamic state militants. those remarks from president obama earlier today after meeting with officers at u.s.
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central command in florida. they oversee efforts in the middle east. the president spoke for about 20 minutes. >> hello. i want to thank general austin for his introduction, lloyd for your exceptional leadership. were you about to sneak off the stage? it's better when lloyd is not next to me because i don't look small. general austin has done such extraordinary work both commanding our forces in iraq today as the commander. i want to thank somebody else for his own lifetime of service to america, first as a soldier who fought in vietnam, now as a secretary of defense, chuck hagel. give it up for chuck.
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[ applause ] chuck was here a few weeks ago to welcome the new head of special operations command, general joe votel. give joe a big round of applause. [ applause ] for those of you who don't know, 13 years ago joe led his team of army rangers as they jumped in afghanistan to establish our first base there. by jumping out of the plane alongside them. joe is a tough guy. he knows what he is doing, and i can't think of somebody who is more qualified to head up our special forces. so we want to thank joe for accepting this assignment. your member of congress kathy
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caster is here. give kathy a big hand. there she is right there. [ applause ] your wing commander, colonel tulley. [ applause ] your senior enlisted leaders command sergeant major chris grecca, command sergeant mayor chris ferris, chief master sergeant matt lusant. [ applause ] most of all i want to salute all the spouses and military families on base, because let's be honest, they're the force behind the force. [ applause ] i spent time with some of them last night. it's clear why our military is the finest fighting force in the history of the world. it's because our military families are serving right alongside you.
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i know we've got some air force in the house. [ applause ] it's great to be at the home of the 6th air mobility wing. [ applause ] 927th air refuelling wing. sencom, socom. we have some army here. [ applause ] navy. [ applause ] marines. [ applause ] coast guard. [ laughter ] we love our coast guard. now, i'm not here to give a long speech. what i really wanted to do is come down and shake some hands. i just received a briefing from general austin and met with your commanders. met with representatives from more than 40 nations. it is a true team effort here.
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i came here to say the same thing that i've been saying to troops on bases across this country, around the world and a few months ago and that is thank you. on behalf of the american people, i want to thank all of you for your service. i want to thank all of you for your sacrifice. i want to thank you for your commitment to each other and your commitment to our country. as your commander and chief, i could not be more proud of each and every one of you. for nearly 75 years, the men and women here have lived a commitment to airmen, mission and community. you supported our troops through each generation of challenges. as home to central command and special operations command, you have shouldered some of the heaviest responsibilities in dealing with the challenges of this new century.
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for more than a decade, ever since that awful september morning 13 years ago, ever since joe and his rangers took that jump a month later, you and all our men and women in uniform have born the burden of war. some of you are quiet professionals. our special forces were among the first to go. when the decision was made to go into iraq, you were there. when we refocused the fight back to afghanistan, you were there. you have served with skill and honor and commitment and professionalism. some of you carry the wounds of these wars. i know some of you lost friends. today we remember all who have given their lives in these wars. we stand with their families who have given more than most americans can ever imagine. we honor those sacrifices forever. but here is what i want every
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single one of you to know. because of you, this 9/11 generation of heros has done everything asked of you and met every mission tasked to you. we are doing what we set out to do. because of you, osama is no more. because of you, the core al qaeda leadership has been decimated. because of you, afghans are reclaiming their communities. afghan forces have taken the lead for their country's security. in three months, because of you, our combat mission will be over in afghanistan and our war in afghanistan will come to a responsible end. that's because of you. you and our count erterrorism group have saved american lives. you have made our homeland more secure. but we have always known that the end of the war in afghanistan didn't mean the end of threats or challenges to america.
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you knew this and have known this as well as anybody. you played a central role in our combat and counterterrorism operations. you make sure our troops and pilots get what they need to get the job done. you train forces around the world so countries can take responsibility for their own security. the 6th air mobility wing is continuously deployed supporting our humanitarian and combat operations around the world. ready to defend. your work is as vital as ever. because in an uncertain world full of breathtaking change, the one constant is american leadership. in a world where technology provides a small group of killers with the ability to do
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terrible harm, it is america that has the capacity and the will to mobilize the world against terrorists, including the group in syria and iraq known as isis. our intelligence community, as i said last week, has not yet detected specific plots from these terrorists against america. but its leaders have repeated america and our allies and right now the terrorists pose a threat to the people of iraq, syria, the broader middle east including our personnel, our embas embassy, our facilities there. if left unchecked, they could pose a growing threat to the united states. last month, i gave the order for our military to begin taking targeted action against isis. since then, our brave pilot and crews with your help have conducted more than 160 air strikes against these terrorists. because of your efforts, we have been able to protect our personnel in our facilities and
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kill isil fighters. and given space for iraqi and kurdish forces to reclaim key territory. they have helped our partners on the ground break isil sieges, helped rescue civilians cornered on a mountain. helped save the lives of thousands of innocent men, women and children. that's what you have done. going forward, as i announced last week, we're going to destroy isil through a sustained counterterrorism strategy. whether in iraq or syria, they will learn the same thing that the leaders of al qaeda know, we mean what we say. our reach is long. if you threaten america, you will find no safe haven. we will find you eventually. [ applause ]
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but -- i want to emphasize, this is not and will not be america's fight alone. one of the things we have learned over this last decade is, america can mike a decisive difference. i want to be clear, the american forces that had been deployed to iraq do not and will not have a combat mission. they will support iraqi forces on the ground as they fight for their own country against these terrorists. as your commander in chief, i will not commit you and the rest of our forces to fighting another ground war in iraq. after a decade of massive ground deployments, it is more effective to use our unique capabilities in support of partners on the ground so they
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can secure their own country's futures. that's the only solution that will succeed over the long-term. we'll use our air power. we will train and equip our partner. we will advice and assist them. we will leased a broad coalitio of countries who have a stake in this. this is the people fighting against isil. this is the world rejecting isil. we're not going to do this alone. the one thing we have learned is is that when we do things alone and the country -- the people of those countries aren't doing it for themselves, as soon as we leave we start getting into the same problems. so we got to do things different. this is why we have spent the past several weeks building a
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coalition to aid in these efforts. and because we're leading in the right way, more nations are joining us. overall, more than 40 countries so far have offered assistance to the broad campaign against isil. some nations will assist from the air and already france and the united kingdom are flying with us over iraq can others committed to join the effort. some nations will help us support the forces fighting these terror i have ists on the. saudi arabia has agreed to host our efforts to train and equip syrian opposition forces. australia and canada will send advisers to iraq. germany will offer training. other nations have helped resupply arms and equipment to forces in iraq including the kurdish peshmerga. arab nations have agreed to strengthen their support tofor iraq's new government.
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our partners will help to cut off isil funding and gather intelligence and stem the flow of foreign fighters into and out of the middle east. meanwhile, nearly 30 nations have helped us with humanitarian relief to help innocent civilians driven from their homes. yesterday at the white house, i met with an outstanding american leader, john allen. he worked with iraqi tribal leaders as they fought to reclaim their own communities from terrorists. he will serve as america's special envoy to build this. i called on congress to make sure you have the resources you need to get the job done. the point is, we cannot do for the iraqis what they must do for themselves. we can't take the place of their partners in securing their own
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region. and a better future for their own people. we can't do it for them. but this is an effort that calls on america's unique abilities and responsibilities to lead. in a world that's more crowded and connected, it is america that has the unique capability to mobilize against an organization like isil.9tízñecg in a world full of broader social challenges, it is america that has the unique capability and know how to help contain and combat a threat like ebola. the epidemic in africa. yesterday on ton of whp of what he doing, we are now establishing a command center in liberia to support civilian efforts after cross the region. darryl williams, commander of
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our army forces in africa arrived yesterday. he is on the ground. our armed forces will bring their unique, unrival led expertise to get medical supplies into west africa. obviously, the safety of our personnel is a top priority. in the nation of liberia, one person who heard this news was reported to say, we have been praying to get the disease wiped out of our country. if the coming of u.s. troops will help us get that done, we will be happy. that's the story across the board. if there's a hurricane, if there's a typhoon, if there is some sort of crisis, if there's an earthquake, if there's a need for a rescue mission, "away from the white house" wor-- when the world needs help, it calls on america. even the country's that complain
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about america, when they need help, who do they call? they call us. and then america calls on you. to all of the servicemen and women here and around the world, we ask a lot of you. and any mission involves risk. and any mission separates you from your families. sending our service members into harm's way is not a decision i ever take lightly. it is the hardest decision i make as president. nothing else comes close. i do it only when i know the mission is vital to the security of this country that we love. i do it only because i know that you are the best there is at what you do. and frankly, there just aren't a lot of other folks who can perform in the same ways. in fact, there are none.
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there's some things only we can do. there's some capabilities only we have. that's because of you, your dedication, your skill, your work, your families supporting you, your training, your command structure. our armed forces are unparalleled and unique. so when we got a big problem somewhere around the world, it falls on our shoulders. sometimes that's tough. but that's what sets us apart. that's why we're america. that's what the stars and stripes are all about. between war and recession, this has been a challenging start to this new century. we have been busy. this has not been an easy 14 years. many of you came of age in these
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years. but i want you to know as i stand here with you today, i am as confident as i have ever been that this century just like the last century will be led by america. it will be and is an american century. at home we're bouncing back, better positioning ourselves to win the future. overseas we're moving forward answering call to lead. even when it seems like our politics is just dividing us, i want you to remember that when it comes to supporting you and your families, the american people stand united. we support you. we are proud of you. we are in awe of your skill and your service. only 1% of americans may wear the uniform. and shoulder the weight of special responsibilities that you do.
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but 100% of americans need to support you and your families, 100%. this is a moment of american leadership.ótp÷ thanks to you, it is a moment we are going to meet. i will stand up for your interests and for our security and for the human rights and dignity of people wherever they live. we will work with our all lies take out the terrorists. in contract to those who know how to kill and tear down, we build up and offer a future of progress and hope. like the generations before us, we're willing to defend this country we love. we're willing to help others on this planet that we share. we're protected by patriots like you. re united states of america will remain the greatest force for freedom that the world has ever known. thank you very much, everybody. i'm proud of you. glad bless you. glad bless the united states of
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america. [ applause ] ♪+b.wç ♪
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♪ >> president obama in tampa, florida, talking about his strategy toward isis. that strategy continues to be of congressional concern. join us later today when secretary of state kerry will testify before the senate foreign relations committee on isis. you can watch it live at 2:30 p.m. right here on c-span3. scr-
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with live coverage of the u.s. house on c-span anted senate on c-span2, here we show you the most relevant public affairs. we tell our nation's story, including six unique series. the civil year's 150th anniversary, battlefields, americanqqék artifacts.
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the presidency and lectures in history with top college professors and our new series real america features government and educational films from the 1930s through the '70s. c-span3 funded by your local cable or satellite provider.÷7ñi next, house minority leader nancy pelosi speaks with students at new york law school in manhattan. she was there yesterday to talk about her congressional tenure and the current political cl climate in washington. this runs about an hour. >> can i ask everyone to please take their seats? thank you. we're going to begin the program. okay.
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i want to welcome everyone to new york law school this morning. i'm the dean and president here. it's a great honor for us to be hosting the public interest lecture series today featuring house democratic leader nancy pelosi. [ applause ] as many of you know, the lecture is one of the premiere events held at the law school. each one of them has features a momentous national leader, including sandra day o'connor and stephen breyer, former senators and the late senator ted kennedy. that tradition continues today with leader pelosi. this lecture series was founded by an alumna of the law school
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in honor of her husband who was an accountant. the series is a unique forum for thoughtful discussion feet tatu the most prominent leaders in service. a visionary who has made fighting for women's health her mission for the last three decades. 1976 as an evening student launching her legal practice as a second career after a succe successful career as a consumer advocate. she has litigated on behalf of women over dangerous but widely used contraceptive and health products and has transformed litigation by getting the statute of limitations extended.
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she was the first woman to receive the law school's prized president's medal. [ applause ] in a year when new york law school has celebrated the achievements of women in the law, sybil's impact has wonderful. i think the presence of everyone here today is a testament to the respect that is felt across the legal government and non-profit for her impressive career. i want to acknowledge a few of our friends who are joining us today, including congressman -- congresswoman carolyn maloney. [ applause ] united states district court judge jack ;(p2weinstein. new york state appellate
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division judge helen friedman. [ applause ] new york city deputy mayor richard burry. [ applause ] corporation counsel zachary carter, former city controller elizabeth holtzman, former new york state attorney general bob abrams. [ applause ] former appellate division judge milton williams. [ applause ] former appellate division judge and new york law school alumnus and board member, the honorable earnst rosenberger.
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>> if i fall down, i have my lawyer with me. at any rate, i am so honored and it is such an honor. and to have carolyn maloney, my great representative -- my
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ex-great representative. i moved to the other side of town here. and all of you. i welcome all of you. i'm just going to tell you something about carolyn, who couldn't be a better congress person. she was first elected to congress in 1992. but i will only have time, because the program is short, everybody has to go back to washington apparently to vote on the isil bill. so we'll see what happens. let me tell you her current ratings by various interest groups, including the following. the american association for university women gives her 100%. pro-choice america givesler 100. planned parenthood, 100. the human rights campaign gives her 100. the alliance for retired americans givesbbács:fckñ her .
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the league of conservation voters givers her a 96. what happened to the other fourñ points, carolyn? human rights campaign gives her 100. the national education association gives her71jiñ 100. the american public health association gives her 100. the camign to prevent gun violences gives her 100. the nra gives her an f. [ laughter ] [ applause ] the gun owners of america give her an f. it is my great pleasure to have my friend and one of the most excellent congress people we can have, carolyn maloney. [ applause ] >> thank you for that wonderful introduction. it is wonderful to see so many old friends here and have an
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opportunity to meet new ones. thank you to our host here today, new york's law school. and my heart felt thanks to sy bil. svs>>ñy/ an extraordinary attorney. she is a very special friend and mentor to me. justice on behalf of women whose health was compromised. she has advocated focqkñrñrçó c, victims of fraud and those
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speaker of the united states house of representatives, she became the highest ranking and most powerful woman in the 238-year history of our great country. she made history and successfully led the house through a time of unparalleled challenges. and what now seems like an amazing accomplish for the house, she actually got things done. she grew up in baltimore where she learned about great political leadership from her father, the mayor of baltimore. she demanded equality and fought to create opportunity for millions of women, minorities and working men and women for more than 26 years in congress. she became the ranking democrat
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on the intelligence committee. she was the first woman to serve as democratic minority whip. she was the first woman to serve as democratic minority leader. she was the first woman to lead the democratic party in congress. and she was the first women in history to hold the speaker's gavel. [ applause ] and after nearly 100 years of people just talking about the need for health care, both republican and democratic presidents, she led and was at the helm in congress when we passed the healthcare reform bill ending some of the most abusive practices and allowing millions more americans the ability to see a doctor when they get sick. she also led us in the recovery -- passed the recovery act that put americans back to work. she played a critical role in passing the credit card holder's
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bill of right which saves consumers as much as $20 billion a year. i call it the maloney stimulus plan. her leadership was absolutely crucial in passing the james adroga act which gave healthcare to our 9/11 i authored. she kept the house open through the holidays, rounding up votes and making sure that doing the right by our heros wasn't just a talking point but a law. believe me, elections make a difference. the bill would never have passed if she was not the speaker at the time that she moved it through. [ applause ] and on top of all of that, she's a wonderful wife. she's a wonderful mother of five remarkable, successful and loving children.
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now that's an accomplishment and a grandmother and just a very nice person. when you look up multi-tasking in the dictionary, you should see a picture of nancy pelosi. she was recently -- i was with her -- inducted into the national women's hall of fame in new york. and when we build our national women's history museum, i think she ought to have a whole wing. [ applause ] we are also extremely fortunate to have as our moderator dean james f. simon, the martin professor of law and dean at new york law school. he is a ground breaking scholar of american political history, a widely acclaimed author whose work has called riveting, accessible and genius. give a warm welcome to james f. simon and the democratic leader of the house of representatives, the first speaker in history,
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the remarkable nancy pelosi. [ applause ] >> this is a wonderf fuful honor me and, of course, for the law school. we're going to have a conversation for a little while. and then we're going to open it up to questions from the floor. i will start with this. leader pelosi, in your book "know your power" you speak of three important influences in your life growing up in baltimore, your family, the catholic church and the
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democratic party. and i'd like to start with a question about your family. your mother wanted you to be a nun. [ laughter ] how did you, a devoted daughter, tell your mother that you had other plans for your future? >> thank you, jim, for reading the book. it it was just a puff book to say -- because i was hearing people were saying, since she was 5 years old she wanted to be speaker of the house. she's always been focused on this. when she was a teenager -- i was a teenager in the '50s. i was interested in elvis, rock around the clock. i didn't have any interest in politics. i never intended to run for public office. i think my parents would say that they never really wanted
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that for me, a nun that would be as far probably from the -- not so much nowadays but in those days. i will answer your question but not before thanking you, thanking the dean, thanking sybil, all of you for the sunday to be here today. i feel very honored to have received the invitation. isn't she just wonderful? who can say no to sybil? [ applause ] and to be part of something named in honor of sidney who was a great man and we benefit and i will talk about that as we get into the conversation. my mother never wanted me to get married. this is the whole thing. it was to be a nun and that would be wonderful because you could pray, do good deeds. i don't know that i ever told her that. i just thought i would check out
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the world and see what was out therelvúñ anyway. i willñr tell you this, when i s at the dominican college in san francisco when i had written the book and they had an event there, somebody asked me the same question. some of the nuns said, it's not too late. [ laughter ] >> let me ask you, you're a devout catholic. early in your political career, you took very strong positions in support of gay rights and women's reproductive rights. how did you -- were you able to reconcile that with the teachings of the catholic church? >> the church is very important to me. i may be less important to them as i speak out. but i do really believe that
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what we were taught was to respect the dignity and worth of every person. part of that was to have a free will to take responsibility for people's lives and that -- for their own lives and that that responsibility was something that women knew how to do best. whatever my thoughts might be on the suggest, what business is it of mine to insist on that on someone else and how they honored their responsibilities in life? as far as gay rights are concerned, lgbt, as it became known, that was just such a natural thing the way i was raised. it was that people are people. you love them. they are all god's children. dignity and worth of every person. it wasn't even a question. i attribute that to my upbringing in baltimore, maryland. it was little italy in baltimore, maryland, that i grew up. when people were moving, we were
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there. my father was mayor from when i was first grade. when i went away to college, i was still the mayor. our catholic teachings were in furtherance of respecting people. some other catholics may have had a different view of that. but i never saw that as a contradiction. i would hope that as time goes by, people will see that respecting a woman's right to choose is respecting. my family didn't all share my view on a woman's right to choose. they didn't know why i had to be so vocal about it. but i knew why i had to be so vocal about it. >> in your book, you describe yourself as a happy young housewife having given birth to five children in six years. your life revolved around changing diapers, feeding 1z?7xgrg diapers, feeding
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and so on. i'm quoting from your book. your political career came later. >> yeah. >> what advice would you give to young people today who aspire to have a career and also a family at the same time? >> well, since you were talking about a woman's right to choose and launched into my having five children. when i brought my baby alexandra home from the hospital, that week my oldest daughter of five, she was having her 6th birthday. so when the church wants to talk to me about these issues, i think i have some standing. when our colleagues have this debate about how right they are about this, i think i have some standing. in fact, carolyn can tell you that at one point in the course of the debate in the congress
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when i was standing up, they really resent me because i have five children in six years and i'm a catholic and support a woman's right to choose, they said nancy pelosi, she thinks she knows more about having babies than the pope. [ laughter ] yes. i think the pope will agree. with all of these issues, carolyn maloney has been a champion in the congress. whatever has to do with women, whether the equal rights amendment, women's museum, whether it's a woman's right to choose, women's health issues, economic issues, you name it, carolyn maloney is on the forefro forefront. we look to her and she is the top democrat on the joint economic committee. if she takes these priorities to a very important place. mn9%[win, carolyn we chair of that committee. we're very proud of that. [ applause ]
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>> you were a young mother, co-parenting was aspirational. is is it realistic today? >> of course. i have five children, as you know. four of them are married with children. i see a completely different world in terms of how the dads -- my four daughters are married. my son is not. the four daughters are. to get back to your other question which i didn't answer, that enables women tosociety. that is really important. my advice -- elizabeth can give advice to so many people. honored to be here with elizabeth. she knows the challenges we face on these issues. i always say to young women, follow your passion. what is it? is is it about environment, fairness in our economy? is it about issues that relate to peace?
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whatever it is that attracts you. you have to -- it's not about politics. it's about values and about priorities for our country and for the world. what is your vision? what draws you to public involvement? b, what do you know about it? know something about it so that people respect your judgment on the subject. have a plan. think in a strategic way, how do we attract more people to be involved in these issues. if you have a vision and you have knowledge and you have a plan, you will attract more people to it. then more women will, i think, take responsibility in the public sector, which is the most wholesome thing that could happen for our country. that's why we have -- carolyn was instrumental in putting it together, our initiative, when women success, america succeeds. it's about equal pay, work, pai
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leave, raise the minimum wage because women overwilmingly are the ones who make the minimum wage, about quality, affordable child care to enable women to unleash the power of women in our economy. it's not just a title for that it's a statement of absolute fact. the success of women in our economy increases the success of -- other countries are realizing that. look, it's happening in japan, in latin america, in other places in the world. and so, we believe that this initiative that we have, we went on a bus trip all over the northeast and to the midwest and the rest, when women succeed, america suck seeds and for women to succeed in politics and politic, running for office politics, it's really important for us to do everything in our power to reduce the role of money in politics, whether it's contribute, all of that.
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[ applause ] and we have a plan to do that unfortunately, we have to raise money in order to win the election in order to reduce the role of money in politics. but i'm telling you that the secret up disclosed special interest money, we are here about the public interest. but that special interest money is very destructive to the middle class and our economy. if we reduce the role of money and increase the level of civil knit politics, i guarantee you this, we will increase the number of women in politics and that, again, would be the most wholesome thing we can do. not only women, but younger people, minorities and and the rest of the beautiful diversity of america. so, that is something we absolutely must do. it seems inevitable to us that it has to happen it seems inconceivable to the republicans, they say, forgive me for a partisan word, they say -- they say the problem is not money in politics, it's -- the problem is we don't have enough money in politics. can you imagine that they would
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actually say that? but the fact is whatever time it takes, it's inevitable to us, inconceivable to them, we have to shorten the distance between the two and that is what we are determined, determined to do. >> let me ask you a couple of questions about current legislation. last week, president obama announced that the u.s. would lead a coalition to degrade and ultimate to defeat isis. you were an opponent of president bush's decision to go to war in iraq. >> mm-hmm. >> what are your views on the latest proposal? >> the latest proposal is a consequence of our going into iraq in the first place. this was -- probably go down in history as one of the most serious mistakes our country ever made. and it was a decision to mislead
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the american people. and that's why. as carolyn mentioned, the senior democrat on the intel jones committee and it was at that time, i said to my colleagues, i've seen it all because as what they call a gang of four or sometimes the gang of eight, they must show you all of their intelligence. so, everything they had, they had to show us. so, as you know, elizabeth, if they had anything else, they would have -- to make their case and the -- i said at the time, the intelligence does not support the threat that they are describing. it's just not there. and of course, i voted against the war and many of my colleagues did -- a strong majority of democrats in the house voted against it. and some of them, because i said the intelligence does not support the threat, it was a misrepresentation about what the threat was, of weapons of mass destruction. it was a misrepresentation of how long the war would take and how we would be greeted and how
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it would be paid for and the rest of it. it was a stunning misrepresentation. and of course, it took a very long time, many lives lost, american and hundreds of thousands of iraqis. so the fact is now, we have to deal with some of the consequences of the war, but i -- and i think the president has the authority to do what he is doing now. we have said if he goes beyond a certain point, we will need a future reauthorization and that could be soon or not, depending on what actions the president takes. but i will not vote for boots on the ground. and let me say it another way, combat troops on the ground in iraq. we cannot go down that path. there's no evidence that it will even work. but i salute the president for doing the diplomacy. very instrumental, as was the vice president biden in making sure that a new government was established that would be more inclusive in iraq and not, you
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know, the sunnis have taken over, now we are going to make up for -- i mean, sheet ya have taken over and we are going to make up for -- but the sunnis did to us while saddam hughes say was in power, that this would be an inclusive government, respectful of shia, sunni and kurd interests. that was a -- we shouldn't do anything if they hadn't established that government. second of all, with the diplomacy and the politics of building a coalition to assist in what we do there, so, it's not just the united states fighting isis, it's the world. it's the world, whether that's nato countries or in addition to that, powers in the region anteing up to help in that fight. and if there need to be combat troops on the ground, they should not be combat troops of the united states of america. we have paid so much for that. so, this is different. the president's asking, can they
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train, this is the vote we have to leave here as soon as this is over to get down to be involved in, the combat training of syrian opposition in order to fight isis, it's very discreet. these people have to be vet ready, we have to know what we are doing and i believe the congress will give the president that additional -- he does need legislation for that authority. whether we go to another phase, whether it crosses are the threshold, govern legislation, over 300 members voted for, democrats and republicans, said if the president goes to a certain place beyond where he is now, wome we will have to have e of congress. the misrepresentations about the war in iraq, especially since we went into afghanistan, we had the taliban on the run but we did not defeat them. they headed for the hills and they came back down when we went to iraq. how -- what strategic thinking
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is that? i know you're written about franklin roosevelt and charles -- justice of the court in so many ways. i would be interested in your perspective on how, as lincoln said, public sentiment is everything, how the public sentiment was exploited. and if you would read the authorization that people voted for to go into iraq, would you think that saddam hussein was right there for 9/11. the misrepresentations are really astounding. >> i want to ask one more question and then i'm going to open it up for the floor. um, immigration reform. >> yeah. >> the president reportedly wants to postpone that till after the midterm elections. two parts to this question. do you agree with that? and what are the chances of
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immigration reform after the midterm elections? >> we have the votes on the floor of the house for immigration reform. we -- and that's why people don't really understand the awesome power of the speaker. so when the people say, oh, she was the most powerful -- it's the job that i held and of course, i hope to have influenced in a way to get a job done, but here's the thing, the votes are there for immigration reform. the votes are there for background checks, for the responsible background checks that are -- were in the senate bill. the votes are there for the voting rights act to correct what the court did. the votes are there on so many subjects, to end discrimination, lgbt, the votes are there the speaker just will not bring up the votes. 11 million people need legalization. around 1100 were being deported each day, one person standing in the way of that.
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and i do believe sincerely that i wanted to bring something up, but his caucus wouldn't let him do so. i have said i would rather pass immigration reform and lose the election, of the two, passing immigration reform was more important because of how transformative it will be to our country in terms of respecting people who are here on our soil, what it means to tech, what it means to agriculture, what it means to tourism, what it means to who we are as a people, having people in america have rights. and so i'm very disappointed that they would not give us a vote and they, for a year, the senate passed it in june of last year. for a year, they kept saying we are bringing it to the floor, we are bringing it to the floor, but they never did. and that was unfortunate. it would be bet per, you know, if we had a statute, if we had a law, right judge weinstein, would be better if we had a law
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rather than an executive orderer. but nonetheless, that's the best that we're going to get. the timing on it, as long as they can try to use prosecutorial discretion to minimize the deportations in this period of time, it won't make as much difference as people think. it was a real downer for our base, i will have to be very honest, but i don't think the president did it for political reasons. i think he did it because he to you the if he did it in that way, he would be able to successfully get it done. now, let me just say this about all this immigration reform. as i've indicated earlier, i had a little disagreement with the catholic church about a woman's right to choose and all that, all of that the republicans are in their camp on that subject and so they are like this. forgetting the rest of the catholic agenda of feeding the hungry and all that. they are like this on a woman's
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right to choose. the republicans passed two bills passed two bills on immigration where their best friendsç in t world said those bills dishonored america. they were so horrible and the negative legislation, vis-a-vis, immigrants. we see immigration as the constant reinvic racial of america, the hopes, the dreams, the aspiration, the optimism, the determination of people coming here, wanting a better life for future generations, that's what america is all about. so, all that immigration makes america more american, in my view and we really need to pass that legislation. [ applause ] >> i only have about 20 more questions to ask, but i'm gonna -- >> i'm answering too long, huh? >> no, you're wonderful.
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let me open up to the floor for questions. >> all the way over there. >> okay. over there. you. yes, you. >> [ inaudible ] all of these bills, which have the votes, they are just not coming to be voted upon. is there a possibility of changing that and would you support it? >> i don't know if -- it's a question of how you practice -- the speaker is a speaker of the house. and when we had the speakership, we never said to president bush, never is our agenda for your agenda and nothing is our agenda, so don't expect -- when president bush was president, we worked with him. we opposed him on the war in iraq, we opposed him on
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privatizing social security, but everything else was open season. i wanted an energy bill. he said what do you want? i said i want renewables, i want nuclear. the biggest energy bills in the history of the country. we did things for poor children, for aids drugs throughout mostly africa. so the practice of it is really more the issue. we've never seen anything like this, where they have really said to the president, anything you want, we're interested. nothing is the agenda, never is the timetable. so it's really more the practice of it and we did involve them in so many things, you'd never know it to hear them tell the tale. but i don't know what changes you could make except public opinion, the public sentiment is everything. for example, lincoln -- for example, on the subject of the
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violence against women act, which was -- we observed the 20th anniversary last week, saturday was the 20th anniversary. carolyn very much a part of all of that, as you can well imagine, it needed reauthorization when they had the majority, just a couple of years ago, they had the majority -- when they won the majority, came time to reauthorize the bill. if you don't reauthorize it, women don't have those protections, so kept saying to the speaker, bring the bill to the floor. no, no, no, no, no. so, 600 days went by. 600 days. almost -- nearly two years, close to two years went by before they would finally bring the bill up, because we made it too hot to handle in the public. the public drumbeat for it, and thank you to so many of you for being part of that drumbeat.
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they finally brought it to the floor. but guess how they brought it to the floor. they said, okay, you can have your vote on violence against women, but we are gonna have our own bill. now, they had the majority, so this is a little frightening. their bill said, we are against violence against women, except if you're a native american, an immigrant or an lgbt community member. then the violence against women prohibition does not apply to you. can you imagine that? is that stunning? and you know what, 135 of them voted against our bill, but we had enough of them to join us that we could pass our bill, which was all-inclusive violence against women act. so, i would say the biggest force for anything in washington, whatever the rules are, is public opinion. and if i may depart from that question to thank all of you and
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thank sidney and his wisdom for the role that you played in passing the affordable care act. the affordable care act to us is the promise of life, a healthier life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness without being job locked because of health insurance. when we pass the bill, when we were working on it and people said you're never gonna pass this, the press would come, how are you gonna pass this? you lost in massachusetts. how are you gonna pass it? and the lore, which this is very self-serving of me to tell you this, but this is what -- i said to the press at the time, we're gonna go up to the gate and we are not gonna let anything stand in the way of passing the affordable care act. go up to the gate and push open gate, push open the gate, if the gate doesn't open, we will climb the fence, if the fence is too high, we are going to pole vault in. if that doesn't work, wither gonna helicopter in, but we are not allowing anything to stand in the way to quality affordable
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health care for all americans. [ applause ] so -- so, after it was over, the press said which one did you do? and i said which one we did was we pushed open the gate. and it wasn't just the 200-some members of congress who were voting for the bill who pushed open the gate, it was everybody outside who was helping, who saw the need. and consumers union was a very important part of not only instructing us about what consumers needed in the bill, but also training advocates to advocate for the passable of the bill, but also now advocating how people can sign up. so, we would not have been able to push open that gate alone. any of you who were involved in that with us, and i hope you take some personal satisfaction in the role that you played in promoting life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for our
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country. but public opinion really makes a tremendous, tremendous difference. and i think that has the biggest impact on some of the behavior. like now, if you had endless special interest money, suffocating the air waves, misrepresenting what's happening in washington, that's the challenge. and that's why we have to remove that money, because it is a deterrent to communication and the a he is a deterrent to voting -- to voting as well. >> other questions? yes? we ask that you hold your questions until the microphone is present please. >> [ inaudible ]. >> arthur, i think the rest of them want to hear your question. the microphone. >> good. >> so much of what fuels the ability to cause such trouble is
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the proliferation of money in that part of the world and the money in both of those regions comes from stuff coming out of the ground. and people have said that if the price of oil in the world were to go down substantially because of the other ways to create power, that the power that putin has over gas and oil and the pure in the middle east, the proliferation of money in all of those countries, so much of it is going into arms that are causing such trouble, that's something that people don't talk about, that the ability, the amount of money that is being spent on arms by all the parties, what do you see in the future to curb that appetite? and i just point out to you, it is only 70 years since the end of world war ii, when millions, tens of millions of people died. now, we are now again in a situation where inspect people
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are dying left and right all over the place. so, it happens, it seems to happen every 50 or 70 years in our world, but in this case, so much of it is due to the change in the middle east, for instance, and that change is really due to what oil has brought to them. could you comment on that? >> yes, arthur, thank you. well, let me just say that the role of money and the role that natural resources play in the dynamic is an important one. and even at some point, water will become a very political, a very political issue because of the limitation, any limitation on the commodity. the initiative that we have, and today at 12:00 noon already, it just started, al gore's starting a 24-hour climate reality project to show how the
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dependence on fossil fuels and what that means to the political dynamic if it's not only harmful to the environment and how our responsibility to pass it on to future generations in a sound way, it's not only a problem in terms of the air we breathe and, again, it's a national security issue in many respects, a geopolitical issue. so obviously, if we can reduce the dependence on oil, and especially right now, it's clear in europe, because the countries are divided into countries that depend on russian oil, or a doesn't depend on russian oil, they have their own oil, or some that are right in the mild and if you take that out of the equation, you have a different political decision and the timing and enthusiasm for recognition of it that you put forth is something that is really essential. and i think that some of these
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countries are realizing that they don't want their fate to be tied to their dependence on russian oil. and putin is irresponsible in that regard because his numbers have gone up in the polls, because he's invaded ukraine and all of that. we are gonna have the president of the ukraine speak to congress -- is it thursday or tomorrow, this week, i think it's thursday and it will be interesting to see what he has to say. if you speak to the europeans, they say we cannot allow the invasion of cry me yantd invasion of ukraine to stand. and so we are saying, well, the only option we have are serious sanctions. are you ready for that despite your dependence on foreign oil? the middle east is a completely -- another scenario,
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if these at word. water and oil are political tools and we have to minimize the impact. war is a very uncivilized way to resolve conflict. it should be obsolete. it shouldn't exist. and yet, there it is. people are, aggressive and you can't allow their aggression to stand in some cases if it threatens the security of some people. we taken a oath, protect and defend, that's the oath we take, we probably take it, community involvement, certainly attorney general abrams took it elizabeth took it, judge, you take protect and defend the constitution of the american people and so that's first responsibility. we have to do it in a much more enlight ined way and i think you have framed it very well in that regard.
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i know that the time is ticking and i wanted to just say something about the economy, because it all relates. en of thursday will be the sixth anniversary, if you want to use such a word, but six years since the -- well, i'm in my office, it's september 18, almost 3:00 in the afternoon. i'm meeting with my leadership. jim, i say to them, usually this -- i'm speaker at the time, the secretary of the treasury briefs me on the market, the bond market, the debt market, this market, the global markets, all the other, on a regular basis, but i haven't heard from him in the last couple of weeks, a couple of weeks, and in that time, we've had lehman, we had m mer rick, and that day aig, i'm
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going to ask him to come and speak not just to me, but the democratic leadership so that we can be help.ful in some way, not undermanned the confidence in the markets and the rest of that h i call secretary paulson, i'm looking at this very watch, 3:00, and i say, can you be here tomorrow morning at 9:00? he says, madam speaker -- mr. secretary, can you be here tomorrow morning at 9 cloo to be brief us. he says, madam speaker, tomorrow morning will be too late. tomorrow morning will be too late? why am i calling you? right, jim. why am i calling him? so, say 5:00 come, i will call the chairman, call ben bernanke, i will be right over, all that the white house finds out, they're furious, because the reason they had not briefed us is because they didn't want us to know. now, september 18th, what is it,
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less than seven weeks -- seven days -- seven weeks from today, so, less than -- fewer than seven weeks until the election. they were trying to hold on until barack obama, they knew he would be elected, and that it would all be his problem, right? we had a meeting that night. the secretary describes the scenario from hell, a total meltdown of our financial institutions. i asked the chairman, bernanke,, who was an expert on the great depression, a historian, i said, mr. chairman, what do you think about what the secretary has told us? and chairman bernanke, said, if we do not act immediately, thursday night now, about 9:00, if we do not act immediately, we will not have an economy by monday. an economy. no commercial paper. nothing.
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this is where their policies took us, to this brink, which they are keeping a secret because, you know, the election was six weeks away, but all hell broke loose, as you know. so, when they talk about the economy and their policies and what they want to get back to, it's really a stunning thing to me. and i think it's really important. democrats and republicans to hold all of us accountable for what these decisions are that affect the economy. we will not have an economy by monday and that's exact -- so we go in, okay, we do this -- i'm giving you a very abrief yated version, may have to write a back on this, i'm not sure. >> you do. >> very abbreviated. so president obama takes office that january. the stock market is at 7,000. it's now at 17,000. unemployment was at 10%. it's now 6.1%. the national debt, the deficit, the deficit was 1.3 trillion
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dollars. it's 500 billion dollars projected for 2014. it's still too high, but it's 60% lower than when he took office. we just enjoyed 54 straight months of private sector job creation, 10 million jobs. now, that's tribute to the private sector, but it's also a tribute to the policies that are enabling that entrepreneurship and the rest to take place. but the probably 15 million people have health insurance who would not have had it and that has taken down the cost of health in our country. it is -- that's part of the reduction of the deficit, reducing you the cost of health care, the increase that it was on now leveling off or being reduced. so, this -- now they want to overturn that, they want to overturn wall street reforms, they want to go back to the
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policies that got us in the fix in the first place, and it was, if we had not -- if our members had not made that wretched vote for t.a.r.p., which is probably right, carolyn, one of the worst votes i have ever had to ask them to make? >> one of the most important. >> and one of the most important. but the general public did not see it as, you know, they said you are choosing wall street over main street. they didn't see the connection. of course, they are connected when it comes to an issue as serious as that was. but i remember the president's party took a walk from him on it. they never came near the amount of votes they were supposed to do upon it on the first vote, they had practically nothing and had a little more later, but we had to bail it out. and so, when we are talking about saying are you better off? are you better off? you didn't have an economy six years ago. on monday, there wasn't gonna be an economy, unless the democrats in the house and senate bailed
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this out. so, again, we all have to be very attentive and don't begrudge anyone their success, this whole disparity of income is undermining to the middle class and to our economy, we don't undermine -- begrudge anyone their success, we don't want the exploitation of the consumer and the rest when that success brings something very unfair in our economy. so there are reason there are stalemates in washington, d.c. why can't you work together? they want to prevent immigrants, native americans and almost bgt people from the affordable -- why -- from the voting rights act, because they want to turn back the clock on what happened on the economy, which is in recent memory. six years ago, and want to keep it a secret, let him win, boom. economy does a momentdown like
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that, had to be because of his election, right? so, you know, there's a lot of poll aches that goes on. we have to be optimistic. we have to be positive. we have to do what we believe is right for the american people and that's why i'm so proud of had this invitation to be here today, because of what sidney did and what cybill does and what you all do and the new york law school and the values that you have and the respect for other opinions. i always say to the members, and it really gets on their nerves, i say, you know, because they are -- i'm in the pews, right? right around this time of year, christ would be saying to the apostles, love one another. love thy neighbor, easier, because the neighbor is over there, but love one another and like why does she keep quoting
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the gospel? i said this is what love is, let other versions exist. respect other people's opinion, even if you think they're wrong, they represent people, how can we find our common ground? we have to have the idealism, the optimism that it's all possible. they have an attitude toward this president that they will never support anything he puts forth. they are anti-governance, they celebrate when they shut down government. they are anti-science. they still believe in evolution, many of them. and they are anti- -- and so the evidence that would say something's happening to the planet or whatever, anti-governance, anti-science, anti-barack obama. and so, they will never -- their agenda is nothing, their timetable is never, that doesn't work for the american people. so, again, i say to my republican friends, take back your party. this isn't the grand old party that did so much for our country.
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when carolyn talked about 100 years of presidents wanting to do this, the first one was teddy roosevelt, as a republican, wanting to have health care. leading the way on an income tax, progressive income tax and the rest of that the republican party has been a tremendous asset to america. it's been hijacked by those who would have a different value system, but still in all, they represent the people and we have to find our common ground. i thank you for the public interest, the people's interest that you are committed to and if we keep our eye focused there then i think we will make the right decisions for the american people. there's so many challenges out there, all these issues that you brought up, we should be working together on those. and i'm optimistic that with a
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vision and a plan that we will. so, thank you for the opportunity much [ applause ]
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ive been asked to make a few closing remarks, when i went to this law school and graduated in 1959, we were 85 students and i'm not so proud to say that in my class of 85 students, there were 84 menned and one woman. >> oh, my gosh. this year, 54% of our graduates -- of our peoples coming to the law school were women. yay! [ applause ] >> so the opportunities for women in this world are growing, are so important and what you have done as a figure out there, larger than life, i mean, it should energize women all over the place to see that they can be at the very head, very head of what's going on in this country and as i listen to your
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speech, i was thinking to myself, you know, law firms now have specialties, you do tax work, you do securities work, you do litigation, all the different things. you, and people in congress, have a general practice first and you have to deal with international law all over the place as well as all the domestic stuff. the breadth of what you do and how you can keep up with all of that stuff is absolutely remarkable. you talk about the economy and what's going on in this whole world. so, it is just mind boggling that you can keep up with it and you have to be so talented to be able to deal with that. and i think we are so lucky to have you. and i sit here, i say to myself, you know, this -- even though these problems exist, and we've always had problems in the world, i mean, how long ago was it when, for instance, in
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france, the accepted way of killing people was the guillotine, which is not a lot different than what's going on now, but the point is, the point is that you, in terms of what's going on, what a wonderful time to be in government and to be -- i mean, even though these problems seem so insurmountable, the fact that you've got such importance to deal with i think is absolutely a wonderful place. and i think for any of our -- we don't have too many students here, but the idea that government is not a place to be, i think government is the place to be. and you are really lucky and carolyn, too, you are really lucky to be where you are, and to be right in the middle of that, so, again, and to cybill, my dear, again, you seen at back cover of the program, the people that have come and have been honored by you and it reads like
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a who's who in the united states and certainly honor us with your presence. so, again, i want to thank you. [ applause ] >> thank you for coming. >> thank you, cybill, for the invitation. your tremendous leadership. you are an icon. i'm honored to join us. thank you, arthur, for the kind word and thank jim for his patience, listening to my long answers up here, but for all he has done, history and perspective for us all. >> thank you so much. [ applause ]
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former u.s. ambassador to
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syria, robert ford, will also appear this afternoon. senator robert men nen dez chairs this committee. senator bob corker serves as ranking member. and as you can see, right there in the front, and mixed among the crowd, members of the protest group, code pink, in the room. so we could see an interruption or two in the proceedings. they offered owe posing remarks yesterday while secretary of defense chuck hagel and joint chiefs of staff chair, general martin dempsey, testified before the senate armed services committee on combatting isis. secretary of state john kerry expected here in just a moment. this is live coverage on c-span3.

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